Visitors keep coming, spending

LIHUE — The Hawaii Tourism Authority says spending by visitors jumped nearly 10 percent last month compared to a year earlier.

The agency said Thursday travelers spent $1.6 billion in July. The number of travelers climbed almost 7 percent to more than 890,000.

“July is typically the peak month of the year for Hawaii tourism and one that industry partners count on to generate good results,” said CEO George Szigeti in a press release. “Even so, the 9.8 increase in visitor spending and 6.8 percent increase in visitor arrivals in July completely exceeds any forecasts that were made for the month.”

Szigeti said he recognizes some residents have concerns about how the growth of tourism affects life in the islands.

“Sustainable tourism is a balance that our tourism industry is striving to achieve for the good of everyone,” he said.

The agency plans to discuss sustainable tourism at its summit in Honolulu next month. Szigeti is encouraging residents to register and participate.

Visitor arrivals for July on Kauai totaled 128,230, a 6.7 percent increase from July 2016.

For the first seven months of 2017, Kauai welcomed 754,668 visitors, according to HTA, a 7.4 percent increase from the same time frame in 2016.

Visitor spending for July on Kauai totaled $165.5 million, down slightly from July 2016.

For the first seven months of 2017, visitors spent $1.1 million on Kauai, a 13.7 percent increase from the first seven months of 2016.

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